2023 Canadian Peony Society National Show – June 9-11, Oshawa, Ontario


John Simkins

May 1919 - September 2011

John was a amazing gardener and founded the Canadian Peony Society twenty-five years ago. He was elected our first CPS president in June 1998 and continued to serve 3-one year consecutive terms as President. John was a peony pioneer in all things to do with peonies in Canada.

John Simkins
John's Dream Peony
This beauty is also 2023’s Peony of the Year!


Johns’ Dream

If you were fortunate enough to attend a presentation by John Simkins in the 1990s to early 2000s, you had an opportunity to purchase some of his small potted peony seedlings ($1 or $2 mystery plants). We purchased a tree peony seedling at a local horticultural meeting and some of our friends also bought seedlings at a show at the Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton. As Joe and I began giving presentations, we often saw flower shows with impressive peonies, results of John’s hybridizing. Some gardeners shared roots of their plants so we could evaluate them in our growing conditions.


Peterborough, Ontario

Joe and Hazel Cook with their daughter Amy
are well known for their family business, Blossom Hill Nursery located near Peterborough. It was established in 1994, specializing in the hybridization and propagation of British Delphinium elatum. A second passion resulted in an extensive peony collection of over 650 varieties including species, tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies. The Cooks are hybridizing and propagating the peonies, including grafting 100 varieties of tree peonies.

Amy, Joe and Hazel of Blossom Hill Nursery

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

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Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
4338 Line 26
St. Pauls, ON N0K 1V0